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Garak
Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

I don't see this or the last episode as some kind of turning point. This isn't a 3.5 or 4 star episode. It's quite simple for me. The best Trek episodes had something to teach us, or something to say. No episode of Picard has done that yet. Each episode has been a journey from A to B. There' s been action, drama, memories, nostalgia, and talking. And it's been pleasurable sometimes, especially this week when we see our old friends. But to what effect? We don't know yet. That's why I don't think it's possible to rate each segment of a serialized show until the end, when the story is over. If the writers have something to say, which is very possible, we don't know what it is. In old Trek we knew what it was at the end of the hour.

The most I can say for this episode is that it was enjoyable. Whether it ends up being more than that will depend on where all these storylines lead to, where they end up, and what they all mean. It's almost absurd to say any more than that, just like it would be ridiculous to stop a movie halfway through and write a review before it's finished.
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Some Garak Fan
Tue, Jan 7, 2020, 1:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Past Prologue

I'd just like to give some context to Peter G here, and to anyone else who might be reading: Andrew Robinson's been stating in full seriousness that he played Garak as "omnisexual" (and not specifically "gay"; it's only Behr in the documentary who claims that) for decades now.

As a queer Star Trek fan who'll take whatever they can get when it comes to LGBT characters, I've looked into this a good deal myself. I'll try not to flood this comment with quotes, but suffice to say, Robinson has talked about this a LOT.

From an interview regarding his Garak novel, in 2000 (source: www.amazon.co.uk/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=53485):

"I started out playing Garak as someone who doesn't have a defined sexuality. He's not gay, he's not straight, it’s a non-issue for him. Basically his sexuality is inclusive. But--it’s Star Trek and there were a couple of things working against that. One is that Americans really are very nervous about sexual ambiguity. Also, this is a family show, they have to keep it on the "straight and narrow", so then I backed off from it. Originally, in that very first episode, I loved the man's absolute fearlessness about presenting himself to an attractive human being. The fact that the attractive human being is a man (Bashir) doesn't make any difference to him, but that was a little too sophisticated I think. For the most part, the writers supported the character beautifully, but in that area they just made a choice they didn't want to go there, and if they don't want to go there I can't, because the writing doesn’t support it."

In 2019, specifically referring to the documentary (source: https://www.andyjrobinson.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Andy-Interview-Edited.pdf):

"My take was *always* pansexual. Because, you know, you’re trying to work out “Okay, an alien, what’s an alien? A Cardassian?” We have to start with the human image and they’re all kind of hominoid, the aliens. But, you know... Do they have the same habits that we do? Are they the same, you know, in taste and in their sexuality? And from the very first moment I did the show, when I saw Dr. Bashir, I see him across a crowded room and I’m sexually attracted to him. And I thought, well, that was the *in* for me in terms of Garak and his sexuality."

[...]

"That’s the one thing that they never got right. That wasn’t Garak. It, you know, I think that’s part of what Ira was talking about – that missed opportunity. Because you could have had a really wonderful kind of relationship, a *gay* relationship, you know? Or, you know, with a character that really was so different from a Cardassian, another species."

That's probably more than enough to prove the point, and more than enough page space here taken up by quotes, but for what it's worth I'd like to link a few more interviews where he talks on the subject of Garak's sexuality (and plenty more, of course, given how much the character of Garak gives you to talk about; these are all interesting reads no matter what).

Another interview from 2000, around the time of his novel:
www.webcitation.org/6WIgLcuHN

From 2008, referring to the way he played Past Prologue and to his novel:
web.archive.org/web/20140509074944/http://www.trekzone.de/content/cc/darsteller/ds9/andrew-robinson/tzn-exclusive-interview-with-andy-robinson.htm

And another from 2019, referring back to Past Prologue, the documentary and his novel:
thatshelf.com/what-we-left-behind-deep-space-nine-star-andrew-robinson-on-the-new-star-trek-doc-garak-cardassian-sexuality-doctor-bashir-and-irony-in-trek/

Regarding his novel, I wouldn't say he specifically wrote Garak as straight. Definitely attracted to women, but that's fully compatible with Robinson's view of Garak's omnisexuality. The 2008 interview linked above mentions how he'd wanted to go into more detail on Garak's sexuality, but even as it stands, the book does at least mention his attraction to a male classmate: "Five was an athlete who also did well in class. I could see that he was attracted to Eight. As indeed I was." It's easy to miss, though.

And finally, for what it's worth, Robert Hewitt Wolfe has stated (in 2006) that he did in fact write Garak as being attracted to Bashir, and suggests "it would not be wrong to interpret Garak as bisexual." Which is interesting to see, given how the first Garak episode written by Wolfe was The Wire; this would mean the undertones to Garak's relationship with Bashir definitely extended past Past Prologue.
(source: www.exisle.net/mb/index.php?showtopic=38718&st=160&p=857040&#entry857040)

I went on here for far longer than intended, but I imagine this makes it very clear. Garak's a complex character by any metric, and here's another aspect of his character that was made apparent in both the acting and, to some degree, the writing. As Peter G says, it can't be ignored.
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Garak
Tue, Oct 24, 2017, 6:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Quick observation:

Granted, I only read through perhaps 15 pages of fan reviews on rt. But the audience score imo is very telling about the future of this series. While the critics are giving generally good marks, the show is getting absolutely hammered by the audience. Despite suspicious clusters of nondescript 5* ratings, it only takes a moment to see that actual written reviews trash the show 10x more often than ones that give it any praise whatsoever. It's especially noticeable when you observe the exact opposite effect for the Orville, a show I still haven't seen. I think the show's doing two things (and each episode only seems to be magnifying the effect):

1. It's severely alienating a major and alarming part of the old guard Trek fan base.

2. At best, it's absolutely polarizing fan opinion.

Neither of these is good for the ultimate success of the show. I'll be surprised if STD ever makes its second season (despite the recent green light) and shocked if it ever sees a third.
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Garak
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 8:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Vulcan extremist suicide bombers.

Lorca makes it with the admiral but she's going to can him.

Admiral suddenly decides to go negotiate with the Klingons- who immediately kill everyone and capture her.

Lorca refuses to go rescue her.

Stamets is moving the ship on his own because of his genetic spore injection. I'm not making this up.

And, the main message:

Michael actually got into the Vulcan Science Academy. Sarek was given a choice of whether he wanted to send Spock or Michael. He chooses Spock. Of course.

Oh, and Ash is now chief of security one episode after his introduction and Michael is chief science officer three episodes after she's being sent to prison for life for mutiny.

Given that the albino Klingon still hasn't made a return, sure appears like he could be Ash in the most nonsensical plot twist in television history...

This show is like a punch line. It's so bad for me, it's turned into comedy.
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Garak
Mon, Oct 16, 2017, 8:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

One poster above called this the worst scripted show in the history of television. While I'm not sure I'd yet go that far-I've seen some horrible shows-I can certainly sympathize with that view.

I'm embarrassed.

As someone who desperately wanted a return of television Trek, I'm so very disappointed. I won't even attempt to criticize the latest episode. You do that when you care. You do that when you hope that things will get better.

Five episodes in, DSC has so completely missed the mark that I've lost faith in any chance that it can turn around.

If this is what Star Trek has become, I want absolutely no part of it.

Hopefully, my favorite television franchise will find its singular voice again in some later iteration.
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Garak
Sun, Oct 8, 2017, 11:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

Really trying to like this show, but...

The Klingons are beyond terrible. Razor thin characterization. Horribly unbelievable and unsympathetic villain. As a foil for the Federation, they're laughably lacking.

The Starfleet characters are dismally one-dimensional and wholely unlikeable.

90% of the drama unfolds around a single character, a departure from traditional Trek storytelling that I'm finding extremely limiting.

The show makes little or no effort to align itself with canon. Different is fine. Some ommissions for the sake of good storytelling would be acceptable. But this isn't Star Trek. It isn't even very good television.

I have this sinking feeling that in a few years the world will look back and group DSC's spore drive and other absurdities alongside transwarp salamander sex and Lester-in-Kirk switcharoos.
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Garak
Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 12:56am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

Frankly, this episode was a mess.

Some questions:

It took one episode for Burnham to assume a key role on a starship after being the first (eyes rolling) star fleet officer to mutiny in history?

Why did they turn the prisoners loose in the mess? Did they attack her just so that we could see Burnham's Vulcan Kung Fu?

Why did they put Burnham, apparently the most notorious criminal in star fleet history, happily in a room alongside a green ensign?

If I hear another person compare DIS to BSG I'll pull my hair out. Those were living, breathing flawed characters that we cared about from the beginning. This crew is, thus far, razor thin and more annoying than I thought possible with such a limited amount of dialogue. The only character besides Burnham that I even remotely find intriguing is Lorca, and he's obviously being set up as the villain. Ugh.

The first mention of Spock is of his mother reading him Alice in Wonderland with a sister we (and apparently he) never knew he had?

Is there any chance that we can airlock Tilly, Stamets, and that security officer as quickly as they did the poor fellow in the last episode outside the brig?

Tilly is the best theoretical physicist in star fleet?

Quantum fungus and biology=physics instantaneous space travel 10 years before Kirk's 5-year mission? Forget astrometrics. Seven should have grown some special shrooms in hydroponics. Poof! Back home in no time.

If Burnham was raised Vulcan, why is she not even remotely embracing logic? Her moods and rationale change as quickly as the temperature in the Vulcan desert. One minute, she's slamming prisoner face at dinner. The next, she's giving lessons on morality in the ready room to the captain. Other than the one flashback, however, there's nothing Vulcan about her. It would help so much if her actions earlier had believable merit. Perhaps, next episode, she can have a katra teleconference with Sarek then go nerve pinch Lorca and take over the bridge. After all Bulcan diplomacy isn't big on biologically engineered monster dogs.

There were some moments I liked. But so far, DIS has not only has DIS failed as Trek, but it's also lazy, mediocre television.

Can someone please give Ronald Moore a call?
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Garak
Tue, Sep 26, 2017, 12:33am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

I liked that the show attempted a darker tone. I embrace more serialization, in general. I can forgive a relaxation of continuity if the stories are done well.

However, the effects and visuals were decidedly Abramesque and, frankly, lacking in key ways, especially during aspects of the battles. The Klingons were portrayed in an unforgivably poor way. Subtitles, costumes, makeup, bizarre Egyptian mythos, but-most importantly- they lacked any meaningful balance as credible villains in the story. Without wholesale changes, I see no way to remedy what they've done going forward, either.

I liked the bravery to do something new with the protagonist, but they went too far. Burnham comes away as unbelievably impulsive, completely out of place in the trek universe. Her knee-jerk reaction destroyed any credibility she might have had as a character.

Speaking of character, were there any others in the pilot? The captain was the most likeable aspect of the first episodes, despite some eye-popping moments, but she's gone. Saru was terribly minor, way too fussy, and hardly memorable at all. Sarek bore no resemblance to Leonard, and his portrayal of Vulcan society seems far more linked to the new than old Trek. The whole foster sister plot seems totally forced. Given its rediculous breach of continuity, I can only hope that the Sarek/Burnham relationship adds more meaning down the road.

Trek's meant to be on television. It's been too long. I want to embrace this latest iteration. Certainly, the other series pilots have had their warts as well. Hopefully, the coming episodes sail a truer, more sensible course.
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Garak
Thu, May 10, 2012, 6:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Field of Fire

A boring filler
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GarakIsDope
Sat, Mar 29, 2008, 3:44am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Redemption, Part I

i'm also a longtime lurker, jammer, but rarely a poster (anywhere). we have similar taste in ST episodes, but i find some wicked insights in your posts. keep 'em comin' j-man.

but really wanted to comment on DC's call on K'Mpec's murderer...nice one bro/sis, never picked that up...i mean guilt through association and circumstantial evidence? then there's Gowron to Worf in Redemption (i think) "You killed Duras, I consider that no small favour." Indeed! DC, I also have to agree that DS9 is the best ST offering.

Speaking of Mr Moore...BSG S4 starts in less than a week - it's been far too long.
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